Do-it-Yourself Home Remedies For Your Rugs
Your Rug First-Aid Kit: Soda Water and Cotton Towels
The time will come when something is spilled on your rug – coffee, wine, or a pet stain. There is a tendency to grab a cleaner and scrub the area, and this inevitably causes more permanent harm than good. A good emergency system is a very simple one, and all you need is soda water and cotton towels.
BLOT – RINSE – BLOT
Immediately blot the wet area with a white cotton towel. Do not scrub the affected area, as this untwists and breaks the wool, silk, or cotton face fibres.
Look at the wet towel for two things: is the liquid spill absorbing into the towel, and also, are any of the rug’s dyes absorbing into the towel.
If the rug’s dyes are absorbing into the towel, blot a bit more and then STOP. No more work can be done to this area without causing the rug’s dyes to bleed together. This type of damage can devalue your rug, so you want to stop before you make it worse.
If the rug’s dyes are not absorbing into the towel (you only see the spill absorbing into it), then place a folded towel underneath the affected area and pour a small amount of soda water onto the area (or use a saturated sponge to apply the soda water).
Take another towel, blot the top side, and then place a folded towel on top (creating a “sandwich” – folded towel, rug, folded towel). Stand on the area for a few minutes (or use a heavy book), and this will help the moisture to absorb from both sides, hopefully displacing the spill. The sodium in the soda water absorbs the foreign element, and the towel then absorbs this liquid.
When you believe the absorption to be complete, elevate the treated area so that airflow can reach the back of the rug (prop it up) and dry the foundation thoroughly. Do this for at least one day to ensure complete drying. The rug will feel dry to the touch, however, the cotton foundation will still have moisture within it, and without air drying, it will eventually lead to mildew and
Puppy Puddles. Kitty Catastrophes.
This is the most common “emergency” call that we get, and it’s not a very “appealing” topic for a brochure, but I know that we need to cover this because this is the one thing that can permanently stain your rug. Supplies that you need in your household arsenal: Soda Water, Vinegar, Cotton Towels, and Nature’s Miracle enzyme treatment (you can find this in pet stores).
For pet urine and pet vomit, because they are stains that hit the rug hot and acidic they will actually stain and “set” the wool fibres rather quickly. You need to follow the steps in Newsletter #1 as far as the “spill procedures” (blot the substance, saturate with Soda Water, blot again, and air dry thoroughly). If the rug has dyes that might bleed if wet, then substitute a 50/50 Vinegar and water mixture for the Soda Water. For pet faeces, you must pick up as much as you can before you begin the Soda Water process.
As far as the odours associated with all of these pet “emergencies,” misting Nature’s Miracle on the areas helps to remove some of the odour-causing bacteria. Resist the urge to saturate the rug with Nature’s Miracle, because pouring any product on a rug is never a good idea. With pet urine, if it is a substantial amount then it has (again because it’s hot and acidic) penetrated the wool fibres and has been absorbed into the cotton foundation. In this case, the only way you will be able to remove the odour will be to give the rug a bath where it is soaked in an enzyme solution.
A different set of problems arise with “old” pet urine stains … When a pet stain is “fresh” it is a strong acid stain. After it has dried completely and has sat in the fibres for several days, it becomes a strong alkaline stain. The problem with high alkalinity and wool is that it yellows the wool, and it also counteracts the mordant process that holds the dyes on to the wool fibres. It essentially makes the dyes dissolve. Even a rug with colourfast dyes will bleed and fade in areas that have old pet urine stains in it. So the key in handling all pet stains is getting to the area as soon as you can (and use the steps that have been suggested so that you don’t cause
If you get to the stains quickly, but you just cannot get the odour out, then you can contact us. We have a commercial enzyme product that we can immerse a rug in for the purpose of removing the odour-causing bacteria in the rug.
Some final pet advice – pet hair. If you are going crazy trying to vacuum up pet hair from your rugs or your upholstery, here are two tools you can use. On rugs, the pet hair entwines itself with the individual rug fibre, so it is sometimes impossible to pick this up with your standard upright vacuum cleaner. So, purchase a lava rock and rub it along the face of your rug, going “with” the nap of the wool pile. The lava rock will grab onto the hair and pull it off of the rug. On upholstery, you can use a pet sponge, which is a product sold in pet stores. It is the size of a brick but is a soft material that when you rub along your upholstery pools all of the hair into one pile that can be easily removed and discarded.
More Information From Classic Rug Care
— Services Available —
Full-immersion Wet Wash – This is the recommended method for cleaning natural fibre rugs.
Moth & Carpet Beetle Repellant Rinse (odourless)
We use the product used and recommended by Textile Museums
Foxi Superplus Rug Underlay (see Foxi page)
Microseal Permanent fabric protection
Professional spot and stain removers for you to purchase that are
Safe * Non-Toxic * Non-Resoiling * With No Bleaching Agents
End, Side and Field Repair of rugs
Fringe Replacement on rugs
Cosmetic Dyeing & Embroidery Stitching of Worn Areas of your rug
CLASSIC RUG CARE
Stapleford Abbotts, Essex
Call Free : 0800 69 50 777
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“We are very pleased with your service. Our rug, which was stained and grubby after several years of use, came back as new-fresh, clean and soft. We were also grateful for the collection and delivery which ensured careful treatment.”
Mrs Harris – Forest Hill, London.
For many other Testimonials about the services offered by Classic Rug Care please go to our Testimonials Page